I really like the headlight idea! I would just pop rivet the spoon to the topper shell. And I think I probably won't need any extra aging.While I don't want to go too crazy with this build, I still dug through my collection of non-bicycle bicycle parts to see if there was anything I could use to spice up this bike. I came across this trim piece off of some Ford that looks like it'd fit almost perfectly between the top bars. I'd need to trim the mounting tabs to get it to sit flush with the frame, and I'd need to figure out some way to mount it nondestructively, but I'm curtain I could get it to work. If I could wrap the mounting tabs with some sort of rubber gasket that could squeeze in-between the top bars as a sort of pressure-fit, I think that would be best.
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On to the really good stuff. I installed two whitewall tires, one good and used, and the other... just used. The rear is a weathered but hardly-used 26" x 2.125" that I pulled off some freebie parts bike a while back, while the front wheel and 26" x 1.75" tire came off my Aunt Suzanne's Western Flyer Sonic Flyer that I currently have apart for a rebuild project. The wheel's good, the tube holds air, but the tire is practically junk. I love the look, but I may have to rob a newer used whitewall middleweight tire off one of my actually rideable bikes to make this bike safe to ride.
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I also had another idea to add a panel under the original tank. It's just a cardboard template for now, but I plan to make it out of one of the old wood boards I've collected over the past few years. I also had these lead numbers with nails I bought at a garage sale last year that I've been itching to use on a project. Given that I'm going with a raw, rusty, unpainted look for this bike, I figured these would look perfect on this bike. The "65" probably won't be the actual number I go with on this bike, but they do bear some meaning for me. $65 is the amount I paid for my first bike that got me into this hobby over 4 years ago.
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One more idea I want to try, mostly as an excuse to use up some pieces I've held onto for the past few years: a custom "headlight." I don't know if I'll actually make it actually light up or not yet, but I want to put something in front of the bike now that I took the fenders off. The main pieces I plan to use are a large fence post topper, an old VW emblem, and a bent spoon. The plastic "emergency exit sign" light lens probably won't make the final cut, but it's an idea.
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I found if I pulled the 3 mounting tabs out of the VW badge, the lip of the fence post topper fit perfectly inside the outer ring of the VW badge!
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Even better, the fence post topper fits almost perfectly inside the spoon, which would make for a cool mounting idea I want to try.
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Here's the idea: I'd mount the spoon to the fork using the screw that would hold the fender in place, and either glue or screw the cup of the spoon to the fence post topper. I'll then mount the VW emblem to the fence post topper, with something behind the emblem so it's not all hollow and empty behind it. I'll probably flip the VW badge upside-down so it looks like an "M" for "Murray." I might try aging the "headlight" so it blends in with the rest of the bike better, but that's a problem for later. I need to see if I can make the headlight first.
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While I'm still pretty early on in the development of this bike, I think this is ultimately the direction I want to take this bike. I'm still not going to go too crazy with the modifications, but I don't see anything wrong with a few "enhancements." And as one of my favorite custom car builders, Ian Roussel, likes to say, "every project needs a bit of Volkswagen in it."
Now that the primary mockups are out of the way, I'm going to dig through my sticker collection to see if there's anything good I can use to cover up those sore spots on the chain guard and headset. I'm also going to dig though some other odds and ends to see if I have the parts needed to make this headlight actually functional.